The Juries of the 64th Nordische Filmtage Lübeck

At the 63rd Nordische Filmtage Lübeck, a total of twelve film prizes worth 63,000 euros will be awarded by various juries.

Competition Narrative Films:

Competition Documentaries:

Children's and Youth Films:

Filmforum (Short Films):

Cross-sectional Juries:

Competition Narrative Films

Jury - NDR Film Prize

The NDR Film Prize, endowed with 12,500 euros, has been awarded annually since 1990 for a “feature film of special artistic quality”. The film should “reflect society in an independent creative language and open up new perspectives in terms of content and aesthetics”.

Karsten Willutzki

Karsten Willutzki (DE), born in Cologne, studied sociology, history, and film in Konstanz and Hamburg. Since 2017, he has been a commissioning editor for series at broadcaster NDR. He previously worked as a producer at Relevant Film and Ulysses Filmproduktion, where he produced theatrical and TV films, as well as series, for the domestic and international markets. He enjoys working in development with unusual projects such as art installations.

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Tonje Hardersen

Tonje Hardersen (NOR) is the festival director for the Norwegian international Film Festival Haugesund. She majored in Film Studies at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and has since worked for the Norwegian Federation of Film Societies and the distribution company Arthaus. She was President of ECFA (The European Children’s Films Association) from 2007–2013.

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Elisabeth Lequeret

Elisabeth Lequeret (FR) is a journalist and film critic for Radio France Internationale and “Les Cahiers du Cinéma”. Her focus is the cinema of the Maghreb and sub-Saharan Africa. Lequeret has authored several books on the subject, including “African cinema, a continent in search of its own vision”.

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Alma Pöysti

Alma Pöysti (FI) is an actor. She graduated from the theatre academy at the University of Helsinki, and has since gathered broad experience on stage as well as in front of the camera. After success in films such as “Naked Harbour” (2012) and “Liberty” (2018), as well as the TV series “Lola Upside Down” (2016), she played the title role in the award-winning film “Tove” (2020). She has recently shot films with Selma Vilhunen, Fares Fares, and Aki Kaurismäki.

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Martin Rehbock

Martin Rehbock (DE) is a freelance screenwriter for film, TV, and international TV series, as well as a creative producer at Lübeck’s zischlermann filmproduktion GmbH. After apprenticing as a book trader, he spent time in Dublin and later studied film and German language and literature. He has developed material for both narrative and documentary films. In 2014, he garnered attention as a writer with his script for “About a Girl”.

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Jury - Interfilm Church Prize

The INTERFILM Church Prize is awarded to a narrative feature that “distinguishes itself with its artistic quality and expresses human behaviour or testimony that is in accordance with the Gospel, or sensitises audiences to spiritual, human, or social issues and values”. The prize is endowed with 5,000 euros, donated by the Lutheran Church District Lübeck-Lauenburg.

Ilze Abrama

Ilze Abrama (LV) has worked for the foundation “The Hour” since 1994. She is a project coordinator, writes for ecclesiastical radio broadcasts, organises film screenings in Latvian schools, children’s homes, and community and crisis centres, and works on international projects such as “by kids to kids”, a cooperative venture between Latvia, Paraguay, and Brazil. She has been a member of INTERFILM since 1999, and is part of the organisational team for the annual film forum in Riga.

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 Svenja Leppin

Svenja Leppin (DE) is a youth deacon in Nusse in the Lauenburg district. She completed her B.A. in religious education and social work in Hanover in 2020. The topic of her thesis was the challenges and opportunities social media presents for the protestant church in Germany. Leppin organises film screenings in local churches, with follow-up discussions of subjects such as racism, sustainability, and other religions.

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 ©Mirjam Knickriem

Markus Manzer

Markus Manzer (DE) has been a protestant pastor in and around Dresden since 1994. He initially worked in church communities and has been working in hospitals for the last ten years. He studied mathematics and economics, followed by protestant theology in Münster and Marburg. After German re-unification, he continued his studies in Leipzig and Berlin. He holds a particular interest in the portrayal of spiritual and religious subjects on film.

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Marie Starck

Marie Starck (SE) is the cultural affairs advisor to the Church of Sweden, which includes cooperations with the Bergman Week, the BUFF film festival, the Gothenburg book fair, and Stockholm’s bokhelg literature festival. She studied journalism, theology, English, German, and music and has worked for 27 years as a journalist, producer, and moderator in the areas of film, literature, theatre, music, and art.

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Jury - Baltic Film Prize

In 1991, filmmakers from the Baltic States created a film prize for an outstanding narrative feature from the Nordic countries. The prize is now awarded by Baltic Films – the umbrella organisation representing the film institutions of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Since 2017, the prize has carried an endowment of 3,000 euros.

Inga Blese

Inga Blese (LV) studied economics, political science, philosophy, and cultural planning in Riga, Budapest, and Leicester. Before she started working at the National Film Centre of Latvia as head of production and development in 2018, she worked as a programme curator at the State Culture Capital Foundation of Latvia for more than 10 years. There she curated various support programmes for culture, including the film sector.

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Irma Šimanskytė

Irma Šimanskytė (LT) has been head of the film production department at the Lithuanian Film Centre since 2015. Prior to that, she was a cultural attaché in Italy for four years. She has been a curator of Lithuanian film programmes for various film events abroad, and has written reviews of international film festivals in the Lithuanian cultural press. Šimanskytė studied linguistics and literature, and film criticism and theory at Vilnius University, Berlin’s Free University, and the University Roma Tre.

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Piret Tibbo-Hudgins

Piret Tibbo-Hudgins (EE) studied film and television production at Moscow’s VGIK, and has worked internationally for over 25 years as a producer of feature films and documentaries. She has also produced music for the theatre, and worked as a music critic. She lectures in dramaturgy and audio-visual media management at Tallinn University, and since 2013, has been the head of production at the Estonian Film Institute. She is also Estonia’s representative on the board of Eurimages.

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Audience Prize of the Lübecker Nachrichten

For the first time this year – an audience jury instead of online voting

In previous years, festival audiences have voted online to choose their favourite film. This year for the first time, a jury of audience members will decide on the winning film. The jury will be made up of seven members of the audiences who have applied to the Lübecker Nachrichten newspaper for a chance to be part of the jury. The prize is endowed with 5,000 euros.

Members of the jury
Gundula Beuster
Steffen Börms
Malin Dressel
Jan Laudenbach
Matthias Lühr
Klaus Maywald
Stephanie Riemann

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Competition Documentaries

Jury - Documentary Film Prize of the North DGB District

A jury made up of members of Lübeck’s trade unions has awarded the festival’s Documentary Film Prize since 1991 – a tradition picked up by the German Trade Union Federation (DGB) North District. The prize is awarded for a “socially and politically committed documentary film that tackles the changes and challenges of our society”. The prize is endowed with 5,000 euros by the DGB North District.

Bettina Fuchs (IG BAU) is the legal protections commissioner for the northern regional office of the construction, agriculture, and environment union (BAU), and has been a member of the Lübeck union jury since 2009, a task she undertakes with passion.

Birte Günther (ver.di) is a full-time employee of the Ver.di trade union and has been a member of the jury several times.

Carsten Gutjahr (GdP police union) works in the investigative division of the Lübeck police department and is an admitted fan of documentary films.

Elisabeth Reinert (GEW) is a retired school coordinator and long-term member of the educational and scientific workers’ union (GEW). In retirement, she represents GEW senior citizens.

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Jury - CineStar Prize

The CineStar group, one of the main sponsors of the Nordische Filmtage Lübeck, is the prize donor for the best short film in the Filmforum, the northern German section of the NFL. The CineStar Prize was presented for the first time in 2012 and is endowed with 5,000 euros. In addition, the jury awards one film a special honourable mention that subsequently receives an evaluation from the FBW film and media assessment organisation.

Maya Connors

Maya Connors (DE), was born in 1985 in Freiburg and studied visual communication and film at Hamburg’s University of Fine Arts. She is a founding member of Veto Film, a platform for experimental and art films, and works as a freelance filmmaker and translator in Hamburg. She won the 2021 CineStar Prize for her essay film “The Dunes Said” about the Argentine coastal town of Villa Gesell.

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Nina Jakubczyk

Nina Jakubczyk (DE) studied art history, Romance philology, and folklore and then worked in Kiel and Magdeburg. She has lived in Lübeck since 2002, where she worked for many years developing exhibitions and educational outreach programmes for the Castle Monastery museum, alongside freelance work in cultural project management. In 2010, she became head of the city of Lübeck’s cultural office.

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Arne Papenhagen

Arne Papenhagen (DE), born in Güstrow in 1974, is a trained carpenter and media designer. From 2001 to 2011 he worked freelance as a documentary film editor and media teacher. He was head of the Cultural Education Department in Mecklenburg- Vorpommern and was the managing director of the federal film association. Since 2015 he is the director of the film festival FiSH in Rostock and board member of the AG Kurzfilm, the German Film Assocciation.

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Children's and Youth Films

Jury - Children’s and Youth Film Award of the Gemeinnützige Sparkassenstiftung

This prize, created in 1983 by the Nordic film institutes, has been awarded by an expert jury since 1993. It honours the best Nordic or Baltic film made for children or young adults. Since 2008, the prize has been endowed by the Gemeinnützigen Sparkassenstiftung zu Lübeck (regional savings bank foundation). The current endowment is 5,000 euros.

Christian Exner

Christian Exner (DE), born in 1962, is a professional educator. He worked in the 1990s for various children’s film festivals, including as the organiser of the Cologne children’s film festival (now called “Cinepänz”). He is also a film critic who has written entries for the Fischer Film Almanac and the German encyclopedia of children’s and youth films. Since 2001, he has done educational work with the German centre for children’s and youth film (KJF). He began there as the organiser of the German youth film prize and the Bundes.Festival.Film. He is currently the editor of the website He is a member of the jury of the children’s film subsidy programme of the German government commissioner for culture and the media, and the national film subsidy organisation Kuratorium junger deutscher Film.

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 Christian Exner

Johanna Faltinat

Johanna Faltinat (DE), born in 1984, is a script developer, project manager, and co-founder of the Büro für vielfältiges Erzählen. As a white, healthy West German, she is aware of her privileged position in society, but as a woman, she also understands structural discrimination. She studied in Leipzig and Oslo; worked at radio broadcaster MDR in the culture division, at the BKJ German Federation for Arts Education and Cultural Learning, and at the Academy for Children’s Media. She is on the board of the Förderverein Deutscher Kinderfilm (FDK) and has, since 2020, been part of the selection committee for the children’s media festival Goldener Spatz.

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 Johanna Faltinat

Joya Thome

Joya Thome (DE), born in Berlin in 1990, began making shorts and working on film sets as a young girl. She studied education and social sciences in Berlin and New York. In the summer of 2016, she made her prize-winning narrative film debut with “Queen of Niendorf”. After the film was released theatrically in 2018, she directed several episodes of various TV series, including the cult series for young people “Druck”, and the live-action version of “Laura’s Star”, which was released by Warner Bros. at the end of 2021. In 2022 she made her first documentary film for the cinema, “One in A Million”.

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Children's Jury

The children’s jury prize was created in 1998 by the Schleswig-Holstein ministry of youth and is awarded by the youngest jury at the Nordische Filmtage Lübeck. Local children ranging in age from 11 to 13 select their favourite festival children’s film. The prize is endowed with 5,000 euros sponsored by Finnlines Germany.

Children's Jury
Anton, 13
Assol, 12
Frida, 12
Lennja, 12
Marlene, 12
Raja, 11
Tommy, 11

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Cross-sectional Juries

Jury - Prize of the friends of the Nordische Filmtage Lübeck for best feature film debut

The Friends of the Nordische Filmtage Lübeck was founded in 1997 and established as an association in 2006, and has been involved in the festival for many years. The 320 members of the association are fantastic film buffs, and now they have become an exceptional jury. They will award the Best Feature Film Debut with an endowment of 7,500 euro, to help promote and motivate young talents from the North to bring interesting material and stories to the screen. In competition are debut narrative features from the sections “Narrative Films”, “Children’s and Youth Films” and “Filmforum”.

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Youth Jury

This prize is endowed with 5,000 euros by the city of Lübeck and is awarded by a jury made up of local young people between the ages of 16 and 19.

Youth Jury
Elona, 16
Korbinian, 16
Ole, 16
Oscar, 16
Sidra, 16

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Jury of the Nordic & Baltic Short Film Prize

The prize for best Nordic or Baltic short film will be awarded this year for the first time. Any Nordic or Baltic short film from the “Nordic Shorts“ or “Children’s and Youth Film” sections is eligible for the prize. A three-person jury will decide the winner. The prize is endowed with 5,000 euros by Teschke & Collegen Versicherungsmakler GmbH.

Janne Heltberg

Janne Heltberg (NO) is an actor, screenwriter, and producer. She has been seen onstage at the National Theatre and Det Norske Teatret in Oslo, and was the artistic director of the Torshov theatre at the National Theatre. She acted in the television series “Occupied” and “Kielergata” (NFL 2019) and is a member of The Sporadic Film Collective, whose films have been shown regularly at the NFL since 2018.

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© Eirik Evjen

Dascha Petuchow

Dascha Petuchow (DE) is a director, screenwriter, and producer. She studied communications design in Wiesbaden und shot her first short film, “Leeres Nest” in 2021, which premiered at the exground film festival. She is currently in post-production with her thesis film “Kaugummi”. She is a co-founder of the production company Plotlessfilm in Wiesbaden, and works as a project assistant for the youth film jury of the FBW advisory council for German films and media.

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Petra Rockenfeller

Petra Rockenfeller (DE) is a cinema manager and professor. After studying German language and literature in Duisburg, she took over as an expeditor and manager at Oberhausen’s Lichtburg Filmpalast cinema. Since 2005, the cinema’s programming has had the seal of approval of North Rhine- Westphalia’s film board and the German commissioner for culture and the media. Rockefeller is a member of several selection committees and juries, as well as the marketing and distribution commission of the German Federal Film Board. She is a guest lecturer at CICAE (International Confederation of Arthouse Cinemas) and on the board of the AG Kino guild.

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 © Frank Morawski

© Frank Morawski